London Film Museum History
Try the elegant bowler hat of Charlie Chaplin and take a picture with the legendary family of Simpsons in the London Film Museum! This museum, loved by millions of tourists from all over the world, has a very complicated history. It was opened in 1988 and was called the Museum of Moving Image. It was devoted to the development of television and cinematography in London. For lovers of movies it was the best place to visit, as they could learn the history of cinema making, starting from the first steps and finishing with the latest technologies. Nevertheless, in 1999 the museum was forced to close. The lack of funds was the reason of it, but a lot of fans of the museum all over the world felt disappointed and insulted. That’s why in 9 years it was opened again, renewed and restored, with a new name and a new logotype, but with the same idea.
The main aim of the founders of London Film Museum is to tell about the history of movie making, being based on two important platforms – technical point of view and creative point of view. To make the film, it is necessary some technical background and the talent of film director and the actors. According to these two platforms, the museum was divided into two branches – the first one, technical, is situated in Covent Garden and the second one, creative, is situated in South Bank.
London Film Museum Exhibitions
In any museum there are expositions, which are permanent and those, which are shown just for some short period of time. As for permanent expositions, they are different for two branches of the museum.
- Permanent Exposition in Covent Garden
It is devoted to all technological aspects of cinematography. Visitors can see Chinese Shadow Theater here, skylights, the technology of creating mechanical animation and many other interesting secrets of movie making, starting from the earliest times of its existence. Here you can trace the history of both British and world cinematograph, from the first photos, that were arranged like a film and up to the modern computer technology, due to which the variety of special effects is created. The requisites of the first film making studious are displayed here too. How were the first studios such as Shepperton, Pinewood and Elstree, created and how did they work? The answers to these questions are exhibited in the museum.
- Permanent Exposition in South Bank
If you are interested in actors, actresses and heroes of popular movies much more than in the process of creating the image in the movie, it is better to come here, to South Bank. The exhibits from all modern film studios are present here. The costumes of famous characters, the decorations for the popular films and the heroes, of course, are exhibited here. Some expositions are dedicated to the cartoon characters and film characters. For example, you can visit the Simpsons and even sit near to them on the couch and make a common photo.
Special attention is paid to the work of great Charlie Chaplin here. The big exposition is devoted especially to him, talented actor and unique personality in the world of movie making. You can watch his long way to fame, starting from poor childhood and ending with his last richest years. If you want to see films of Charlie Chaplin, his scripts, many newspaper articles about him and his films and plenty of photos – come to South Bank. And don’t forget to try on his bowler hat!
- Temporary Exposition “Bond in Motion”
Temporary expositions in London Film Museum are usually devoted to some popular actors or heroes of modern cinematography. One of the most popular temporary exhibitions in this museum is called “Bond in Motion”. It was opened in March, 2014 and till now many fans of this legendary hero come to the museum especially to see this exposition. If you are a 007 fan, this is truly worthwhile. The exhibit is packed with so many of the actual vehicles used in the Bond movies over the years. Interview with the actors, who played his part and scenes from the films – everything is to please the visitors from different parts of the planet.
London Film Museum Opening Hours
The museum in Covent Garden is opened from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday the museum works from 11am till 6pm. Its branch in South Bank is opened from 10am till 5pm. The admission is not expensive in both branches.
As for temporary exhibitions, the admission is different. As for permanent prices for tickets in Covent Garden, they are the following:
Adults – £14.50
Children from 5 till 15years – £9.50
The ticket for the family of 4 – £38
Children under 5 can come for free.
In the branch of the museum, situated in South Bank, an average price per tickets is £10+.
As there are two branches of the museum, the ways you can get here are also different. If you plan to visit London Film Museum in Covent Garden, use the following instructions.
The address is 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BN. If you travel by car, you can book the car parking here. Q-Park is the nearest car parking to the museum; it is just 8 minutes walk to the museum.
Come here by bus – take the necessary number, according to the direction, from which you come. Plenty of buses come here and stop not far from the building of the museum. Take one of the following numbers: 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 19, 23.
If you use underground to come to Covent Garden, the closest tube stations are:
– Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly Lines)
– Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern Line)
And if you plan to visit the branch of this museum, which is situated in South Bank, its address is Riverside Building County Hall, South Bank, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB.
There’s car parking near the museum, various bus stops, which are within 10 minutes walk to the museum and underground tubes. You should get off at the following stations, if you come by underground:
London Film Museum Shops and Restaurants
Of course, movie fans can’t come out of the museum without getting souvenirs. As usual, the things, which are sold in the shops of both branches of London Film Museum, are connected with the temporary exhibitions, that are shown there. Thus, you can get different kinds of souvenirs, connected with James Bond and even arrange a birthday party among huge vehicles from his films there.
There’s no café or restaurant in the building of the museum, but you can come to Byron restaurant nearby and change the opinions about your visit to the museum, having a cup of strong coffee. Some other popular restaurants and cares are situated there too!
So, visiting London Film Museum will be interesting to anyone, who wants to know, how the first films were created and follow the path of its development.
London Film Museum address: 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BN, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 20 7836 4913